2 Reasons We Remove Flowers from our Azalea Bonsai

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Reason 1: Reduce Stress

We love the blooms on our Satsuki Azaleas. They are the main reason we are so attracted to them. Some Satsukis feature very vibrant colors and some even feature multiple colors. Their beauty comes at a price as the blooms on Azaleas draw enormous amounts of energy away from the foliage and the other parts of the tree. To protect the health of the overall tree and reduce stress on the tree, we recommended removing the flowers during late May and June.

It’s easy to do this, just pinch off all the flowers at the base, including the smaller leaves under the flower. A good rule of thumb is to start removing flowers once the tree has bloomed 80% of the buds on the tree. Doing so at this time allows you to enjoy the majority of the flowers while still removing enough flowers to balance the energy of the tree.

Flowers left on a tree may drain all the energy from your tree and if left unchecked may even kill the tree.”

Reason 2: Stronger Foliage / Structure

If you want to grow a stronger overall tree with stronger branches, roots, and trunk, you’ll want to direct as much of the tree’s resources away from the flowers. The easiest way to do this is to remove the flower from your azalea.

In some cases, if you are trying to develop the structure and health of the overall tree, you may decide to remove the buds once they appear and not allow them to flower. Doing so will direct the energy of the tree back to its branches, roots, and trunk and result in an overall healthier tree. You can then decide if you want to enjoy the flowers one year or skip it.

For healthier overall growth, you may even remove the buds entirely during the spring and skip a flowering year. “